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2024 Exclusive Sneak Peek: Javon Baker, WR Central Florida


Welcome to the Exclusive Sneak Peek: Javon Baker, a four-star recruit from Powder Springs, Georgia. Baker strung back-to-back impressive seasons to finish his high school career at McEachern High School, committing to the University of Alabama upon graduation.

As a member of the Crimson Tide, Baker barely made a mark. After playing in 19 games and recording just 9 total receptions, Baker entered the transfer portal in 2021 and finished out his collegiate career as a Knight. At the University of Central Florida, he put together two impressive seasons. He finished his UCF tenure with 108 receptions for 1937 yards and 12 touchdowns across 27 games, earning First-team All-Big 12 as a senior.

Baker has a nice combination of size and speed and should operate as an all-around weapon and depth receiver at the next level.


Measurables

Height: 6’1″ (52nd-percentile)                                 

Weight: 208 lbs (67th-percentile)

Age: 22.0                                        

Class: Senior


NCAA Statistics

Receiving & Rushing Table
    Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2020 Alabama SEC FR WR 8 2 15 7.5 0 0 0   0 2 15 7.5 0
*2021 Alabama SEC SO WR 11 7 101 14.4 1 0 0   0 7 101 14.4 1
*2022 UCF American JR   14 56 796 14.2 5 0 0   0 56 796 14.2 5
*2023 UCF Big 12 SR WR 13 52 1139 21.9 7 0 0   0 52 1139 21.9 7
Career Overall         117 2051 17.5 13 0 0   0 117 2051 17.5 13
  Alabama         9 116 12.9 1 0 0   0 9 116 12.9 1
  UCF         108 1935 17.9 12 0 0   0 108 1935 17.9 12
Provided by CFB at Sports ReferenceView Original Table
Generated 2/26/2024.

Scouting Reports

Strengths

  • Excellent body control, spatial awareness, and ball tracking ability.
  • Strong at the catch point with a nice ability to high-point the football.
  • Violent breaks when running routes, can work to create separation.
  • Crisp route running ability.
  • Elusive in the open field, creating plenty of YAC opportunities.
  • Works nicely to ad-lib and find the open space in coverage.

Weaknesses

  • Tends to catch the ball with his body, despite having good hands.
  • Lacks elite speed.
  • The tape showed inconsistencies in his ability to separate and run routes.

Pre-Draft Analysis

Expected Draft Capital: 5th Round

Ideal Landing Spot: Los Angeles Rams

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Courtesy of nflmockdraftdatabase.com

The Rams have back-to-back picks in the middle of the fifth round. Taking a shot on Baker to both fill out their receiver room and add an element to the offense they have been missing is too much for them to pass up this late in the draft. Les Snead may say, “F them picks” but Baker is an A+ selection if he falls this far.

With Cooper KuppPuka NacuaTutu Atwell, and Demarcus Robinson, the Rams are pretty settled at the WR position. But adding Baker is a chance to develop youth while also giving All-Pro QB Matthew Stafford a contested catch-savant who can work all over the field. While he’s nowhere near the talent of Calvin Johnson, Baker has a similar ability to control his body and come down with 50/50 balls. With Stafford finding success with the much bigger Johnson by throwing it up to the all-world talent, I could see a similar world where Stafford eventually develops a YOLO-ball trust with Baker.

Baker has plenty to work on, but Stafford and Head Coach Sean McVay are good enough to hide the weaknesses of their pass catchers. This is a great situation for Baker to learn and grow while finding some time to contribute right away in a rotational role.

Check out The Fantasy Football Universe video breakdown of Javon Baker below.